Lawrence Frascella
January 03, 2003 AT 05:00 AM EST

Hollywood Arms

type
Stage
Current Status
In Season
run date
10/31/02
performer
Linda Lavin
director
Harold Prince
author
Carol Burnett, Carrie Hamilton

We gave it a B

Along with her daughter — the late Carrie Hamilton — Carol Burnett has fashioned a memory play about her troubled childhood (no money, wayward mom, alcoholic dad). And while it’s not the most trenchant piece of writing you’ll ever experience, under Harold Prince’s expert direction some very harsh material takes on a warm, appealingly nostalgic glow. It helps that the entire cast is excellent — particularly Michele Pawk as the increasingly bitter, celebrity-obsessed mom and Linda Lavin as the non-stop nattering Nanny (the same grandmother, we assume, for whom Burnett always tugs her ear). This moving production may kick off a new media subgenre: the Broadway-bound star autobiography.

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